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Consolidated Graphics Gives Their Staff IT Confidence

Published on November 3, 2011

Cliff Hollingsworth, Vice President of Workflow Systems for Consolidated Graphics, shares how CGX alleviates customer's concerns in securing their data.

I'm Cliff Hollingsworth, vice president of workflow systems for Consolidated Graphics.  I don’t live in Houston.  I'm housed out of one of our sister companies, Keys Printing in Greenville, South Carolina.  One of the things that—especially in the digital space where we talk about solution sales and digital sales and data driven print and those kinds of things, one of the shortcomings that a lot of us talk about, especially as managers, owners or whatever is the shortcoming of some of our sales people and the struggles that sales people have, the fears they have about talking about data or solutions, so what we have done and done pretty successfully in several of our companies is team selling.  

Sometimes, to be honest with you, it’s kind of scary to take a DBA or an IT guy into a customer’s office and talk and have them actually interact with the public, but part of it’s training, part of it’s comfort and it helps a lot to have the IT expert go with us on calls and sit in on the strategy meetings, so they can actually see, hear and feel what the end result the client’s experience is the client is wanting to achieve and I think sometimes developers and IT people work in a vacuum and when we’re trying to scope out a project or kind of be the voice of the customer to them they’ll build what they hear us say and sometimes it doesn’t work out the way the customer wanted it to, so putting them in front of the customer sometimes is uncomfortable for them, but if you start them early on in the beginning it really makes for a nice team approach.

Now as far as cloud computing and data driven print goes at CGX we do have a datacenter, so I guess we technically have our own cloud so to speak and we host a lot of VI capabilities inside the datacenter that our companies can take advantage of if they choose and those are hosted and managed, maintained, upgraded, whatever at the corporate level and the services are made available to the operating companies off their desktops.  So we actually are seeing a big increase in that.  We have in-house training with our vendors for that where we bring in all of our operators into one of our facilities and we have a three-day intensive and just kind of update experience and networking and things like that, so IT is—in the context of print on demand you really can’t leave out IT and if you’re out in the field trying to sell solutions and provide solutions to your clients they have to be involved and I prefer and I think a lot of us prefer to have IT sitting at the table with us hearing the voice of the customer from their mouth.

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